Lifting the Veil: Drawing insights about design teams from a cognitively-inspired computational model

McComb, C., Cagan, J., and Kotovsky, K.

2015, Design Studies, vol. 40(C), pp. 119-142

Novel design methodologies are often evaluated through studies involving human designers, but such studies can incur a high personnel cost. It can also be difficult to isolate the effects of specific team or individual characteristics. This work introduces the Cognitively-Inspired Simulated Annealing Teams (CISAT) modeling framework, a platform for efficiently simulating and analyzing human design teams. The framework models a number of empirically demonstrated cognitive phenomena, thus balancing simplicity and direct applicability. This paper discusses the model’s composition, and demonstrates its utility through simulating human design teams in a cognitive study. Simulation results are compared directly to the results from human designers. The CISAT model is also used to identify the most beneficial characteristics in the cognitive study.